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Following People in Social Media is Opt-in Subscribing

Below is a great comment Bill Mitchell shared also:
http://twitter.com/askbillmitchell

If you really sit back and think about it, it’s those “Twitter Nazi’s” that are killing communities. Case in point and I see this time and time again, when people feel threatened by the occasional blog post link, or whatever self promotion is presented, instead of doing the courteous thing and “unfollow” that person (it’s all about choice after all) they freaking “block” them instead. This is insane, because the way most (not all but most) system administrators create their services ie: Twitter, Facebook, etc they do it in such a way that they treat a block request as a negative action.

This means when you block someone, you are sending some sort of alert to the system and thus the system administrators that hey “userxyz123” did something offensive and you need to take action against them, and yet all that person did
was share something to you that you had to opt in to get to begin with.

What is the dire effect? Well, many services don’t have a huge work force to help investigate each and every request (look at Twitter a work force well under 500 people for a service that caters to now over 100 million accounts worldwide), so
they (the service and the administrators) take the path of least resistance, and workload and if they get “x” amount of “block” request they just can the account
that is being accused.

This diminishes the community as a whole, and you could be directly affecting me because who isn’t to say that I enjoy (and I am going to pick on Chris here in fun of course) Chris Voss and what he puts in my time line. Because a few people are ignorant of how to efficiently use Twitter, I have to run the risk of not being able to read what he publishes that I have personally opted in for, how idiotic is this?

But this happens each and every day, and it’s actions like that gives social media a real bad name, because people want to take control of every little thing. Social media is the epitome of “democracy” in it’s purest form. I not anyone else chooses what content I allow myself to be subjected to, and when someone does something to disrupt that (speaking sorely for myself) freedom, I tend to get a little frustrated if not borderline outraged.

If you don’t want to be sold to on the Internet, do your and myself a favor and just unplug from the Internet and be done with it.